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Old 04-01-2013, 01:02 PM   #74
Kevin Leavitt
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Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Re: how do we define martial?

Erick Mead wrote: View Post
I was taught by the Marines who trained me that martial meant killing people and breaking things to accomplish one's goals.

I comprehend Aikido to act martially toward the goal of peace.

Aikido as a martial art should to enable one to kill people and break things -- and if it does not -- it is no longer a martial art.

Aikido as a martial art distinguishes itself when it enters violent encounter with the same action and spirit of killing people and breaking things -- so as to NOT kill people and NOT break things -- with the goal being peace.

The goals of peace cannot be pursued apart from the ways of war. In Aikido training, martial intent lies in seeking to cut one another in a true, committed line --- and if the lines are always true -- then each hones the other without harm to either-- like the blades of scissors.
Hey Erick, been a while. Hope all is well.

With respect to your Marine's comments. I personally think that is a very limited response, today if you talked to Marines that have been involved in our current situations/wars you might find a different perspective. I think the ability needs to be there for sure. Willingness, absolutely. but intent. Well I think intent is about minimal force and about walking tall and carrying a big stick so to speak. So, I think the view point that it is all about killing to be a very limited view point that does not capture the full scope martially.

WIth respect to your perspective on AIkido being about different from martial. I would capitalize on or refer Jon Reading's last post and say, no martially aikido is no different than other martial solutions. It is always about peace IMO, even with the US Military we must use peaceful means to resolve conflict when at all possible. My current job in Africa is about this very thing. I visit many places working to promote peace, rarely carry a gun, and most of what I do is about promoting peaceful objectives, rule of law, subordination of military to civilian authority and ethics. I think this type of thing is very much within the realm of martial arts.

I think to only address the violent side of the equation to be a very limited, narrow view point. Just as much as I believe those that want to ignore or dismiss the violent side of the art to be a very liimted and narrow view point as well. It is about the midpoint or balance. You can't have peace without addressing the violent side of things and vice versa. It is unfortunate, but our world has not progressed to the point of ignoring and addressing things with the potential to cause harm.

So yes, I agree with you on your perspective. and we are saying essentially the same thing of course!

I think maybe where we differ would be on the fact that aikido has a predetermined solution set. From the shihan I have spoken/trained with, I sense that they would have no qualms with doing harm if it was necessary. I don't believe that there is a more ethical solution set that Aikido has over any other budo practice or even our military. in all cases, I believe there is an ethic to do as little harm as necessary.

Where I think Aikido differs, of course, is in its physical methods of training aiki...however, of course, this becomes a sore point of contention for many as it starts the whole IS/IT war. I am not one who subcribes to the spiritual/moral uniqueness of aikido though, so I think this is where maybe I have differences with many here that wish to establish this perspective.

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